Android Police

Google Home Mini

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(Update: Humidifiers and dehumidifiers too) You can now ask Assistant to fill up your bathtub or close your faucet

When Google launched Assistant, it was criticized for working with fewer smart devices than Alexa. The company rapidly showered us with support for many more products, though, and has recently introduced compatibility with mops, microwaves, and showers. Until today, though, Assistant couldn't natively work with your entire bathroom. Google is now righting this wrong by bringing native support for bathtubs and faucets; hot!

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Google Assistant receives SiriusXM integration

SirusXM is best known as a broadcast provider for satellite radios in cars, but the company expanded its business to smartphones long ago and recently bought the streaming platform Pandora. Now SiriusXM has teamed up with Google to bring its lineup of radio stations to the Assistant across all of Google's devices. This should drastically expand the number of radio stations available on the company's smart home speakers.

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33

Stereo speaker pairing comes to the original Google Home and Home Mini

Google Home owners have been clamoring for years for an option to set up speaker pairs to get stereo sound. The feature rolled out to the Home Max, Insignia's cheap Assistant speakers, and the new Nest Mini, but Google's original Home and Home Mini were left out. Now, the feature is available on both.

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[Update: All affected devices will be replaced] Google bricks some Homes and Home Minis with firmware update and often there's no reset possible

Even though you probably don't notice that any of your Google Home devices are constantly receiving firmware updates, they get new software all the time. Most likely, you'll only realize it when something goes really wrong, which is exactly what more and more people are reporting on Google's help forum and Reddit. They say their Google Homes and Google Home Minis have been bricked following an OTA, and they receive little to no help from Google when they're outside of warranty.

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[Update: Frozen 2] Google Home can now add sound effects and music to story time with certain children's books

Some of Google Home's best features are the ones that are just for fun, like playing the "I'm feeling lucky" game show, listening to different animal sounds, and asking for interesting facts. Google is expanding on that repertoire with storytelling sound effects for certain Disney stories. Parents in the US can activate the new feature by saying "Hey Google, let's read along with Disney." Their Home device will then listen along and play appropriate sound effects and music for the chosen story, which can be selected from a library of 11, with more to come.

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14

New Nest Aware can use your smart speakers and displays to listen for smoke and CO alarms

When Google announced its revamped Nest Aware subscriptions yesterday during Made by Google 2019, it also demonstrated one rather unexpected addition that turns ordinary smoke and CO detectors into smart ones. Nest speakers and displays will be able to listen for alarms and alert you when they hear one go off while you're out and about.

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Google Nest Mini vs Home Mini: What's new?

Google's new Nest Mini, revealed at the company's Made By Google 2019 event, replaces the much-loved and nearly ubiquitous Home Mini. The older Assistant-powered speaker has been discounted and bundled with so many deals over the last couple of years, most of us probably have one on a shelf or side-table somewhere. So why is it worth your while to consider the newer model and its $49 price tag? We've got a few good reasons.

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Google is giving some Assistant and YouTube Premium users free Home Minis

Google has been known to give away free Home Minis from time to time, and as we approach the release of a new model, it's not slowing down. Users of YouTube Premium and the Google Assistant are reporting that Google is offering them free Home Minis just for using Google services.

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34

Google Home starts letting users transfer streams between speakers and displays

Maybe you've taken smartening up your home seriously to the point where you have a smart speaker, display, TV, or a combination of any of them in every room of your house. With all that space and all the people you share it with, you may have wanted to start listening to music or watching a show on one device, then move it over to another. It's previously been a small ordeal to have to do that, but with late changes to the Google Home app and Google Assistant, you'll be able to make it happen at the voice of your whim.

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43

Google Home speakers finally get Duo voice call support

Just after introducing new video filters and effects to Duo yesterday, Google has added a widely-requested audio feature today: You can now connect Duo to your display-less Google Home devices and enjoy high-quality audio calls to other people using the platform. You can also finally call specific speakers in your home using the service.

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